Edinburgh Research Explorer

Rammed earth: an overview of a sustainable construction material

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Related Edinburgh Organisations


  • Download as Adobe PDF

    Submitted manuscript, 256 KB, PDF document

    Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Rammed earth is an ancient construction technique that consists of unsaturated loose soil compacted inside a formwork. Through the analysis of a recent project that sees the application of this material in remote communities of Western Australia, this paper discusses the social, financial and environmental sustainability of rammed earth. It shows that its embodied energy is low when compared to other materials like steel or concrete. This work also argues the need of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units in rammed earth buildings to reduce the dependence on the energy required by these units, energy that is not always available in remote areas or in under-developed countries. In hot arid climatic zones, by simply applying some traditional design features it might be possible to create a comfortable living space without any artificial air conditioning devices.

    Research areas

  • Rammed earth, Thermal performance

ID: 35571865